17th June 2017
I had an odd realisation last week. Odd, because I am many things: a mother, a wife, someone who converses with animals like they truly understand, a very occasional blogger, a procrastinator, an undomesticated non-goddess – to name but a few. Perfectionist is not something I would have thought to throw into the mix. But, here’s the thing. I actually might be one!
This particular revelation came to me after I had spent yet another week cowering away from Training Peaks. Red is normally my favourite colour, except when it looks like this:
I had spent another week of studiously avoiding the South Bank tri club Facebook page like it might be filled with images of famine, war and pestilence. Plucky tails of training feats and cheerful plans for the coming days were making me feel about as optimistic as the front page of your average broadsheet.
And I found myself shuddering at any mention of the Sunshine Coast.
Despite varying attempts to jolly myself into an attempt to train, such as buying a 70.3 mug for restorative post-run cups of tea from the Ironman shop and a singlet proclaiming that I am “in training”, Training Peaks steadfastly refused to turn spectacularly green!
The Swedish police even got involved in trying to solve the mystery of the missing training!
It was too tough a case for Wallander to crack.
And then it dawned on me. I was being too perfectionist.
After a hiatus from swimming and cycling, I was scared that my fitness was not what it needed to be. I looked at each day’s session in Training Peaks – the one I was supposed to do and froze at the prospect of not being fit enough, fast enough, strong enough.
So I just didn’t.
I did turn the alarm off and snuggle back under the douvet for a few more zeds!
I did have a slightly sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every time the thought of Sunshine Coast 70.3 snuck into my brain… On the occasions I forgot to be vigilant about avoiding thinking about it.
I did just want the whole thing to go away and stop bothering me.
And as I pondered how to make the whole thing go away, it suddenly dawned on me that I just needed to give myself a break. I needed to stop worrying about doing the session perfectly. I just needed to do. Do something. Move. Just a teensy bit. Forget trying to please Training Peaks. Stop trying to be other people training for Sunny Coast.
Just do something.
And in giving myself permission to do something rather than everything, other things fell into place.
For example: I don’t like swimming freestyle.
It is uncomfortable and complicated and I’m very slow.
And every single time I swim in an event, I switch to breaststroke because despite not doing any stroke specific training, I am still much faster at it. So, knowing that there is a 99.9% chance that I will get in the sea at Mooloolaba in September, swim 3 strokes of freestyle, feel everyone leaving me behind, and revert to breaststroke, why not bloody train to swim breaststroke?
So this week, I finally attended a club swimming session, told coach Trent I was going to swim breaststroke and did precisely that.
Coach Trent (carefully concealing the eye roll, but I could feel it anyway) told me to hang at the back of the slow lane, so as not to interfere with the freestylers. Until it transpired that I can more or less keep pace. Hah!
And despite the pummelling he gave us, I even went back for second helpings on Wednesday. Because I LOVE SWIMMING.
I suddenly remembered. I really love it.
But only if it’s breaststroke.
And tomorrow, I will ride to and from Sandgate. But on my own terms. In a way that stops me feeling pressured to keep up with the club pace. Because I don’t have to conform to any expectations.
Perfectionist thinking stinks.
So, from now on, I’m going to be my very own shonky version of me.
Yellow is the new green, (unless it’s club uniform, that is) and I’m OK with that.
Sunshine Coast 70.3 – I am coming to get you.